Have you ever considered what will become of everything you own at the time of your death, or who will raise your children if they are minors? Don’t assume that your home, bank accounts, insurance policies, and any other assets you have will be distributed according to your wishes, or that the person you want to raise your children will, in fact, be allowed to raise them. If you haven’t done the necessary planning, you don’t have control over what happens after your death.
CPAs and financial planners recommend that you develop an estate plan as soon as possible so that you can transfer your property exactly as you choose. Effective estate planning may also help you minimize the taxes on your estate and maximize the inheritance for your heirs.
What does estate planning entail? Components of an estate plan include, but are not limited to, the following:
What is Probate? Probate is a legal process that takes place after you die. It typically involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from estate property, which would otherwise go to your family members. Probate usually takes eighteen months to two years to complete and is very expensive. A probate of $1 million in assets can cost more than $25,000 in probate fees. In addition, if anyone wants to find out how much you were worth when you died, what assets you owned and what your family will be inheriting, they only need to visit the courthouse and look at the probate file. YOU CAN AVOID PROBATE BY CREATING A LIVING TRUST.
Planning for your survivors should begin right away and should be reviewed periodically to make sure that your wishes are properly reflected in your estate planning documents.Work closely with a CPA, financial planner and an estate planning attorney to develop an estate plan that reflects your personal objectives.
LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.